Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trail of destruction after Cyclone Evan hits Fiji

Terra Daily via AFP: Tropical Cyclone Evan left a swathe of destruction across Fiji Tuesday after battering the Pacific nation for more than 12 hours, destroying homes, flooding rivers and stranding thousands of tourists. Despite the damage, officials reported no fatalities as the storm headed out to sea early Tuesday and was downgraded a notch to category three.

Western parts of the main island Viti Levu bore the brunt of the cyclone's fury overnight, with the Fiji Times describing the township of Lautoka as a "war zone". Witnesses said entire houses were blown away by the ferocious winds, leaving stunned residents to clean up debris from empty lots after they returned from evacuation centres.

"The destruction this cyclone has caused is beyond words. Not one house has been spared here," Lautoka resident Melaia Waisele told AFP. The information ministry said bridges were submerged by swollen rivers, high winds toppled power lines and roads were closed by landslides and debris.

Almost 8,500 locals sheltered from the cyclone in evacuation centres, while thousands of international tourists, almost 3,000 of them relocated from outlying islands for their own safety, rode out the storm in Viti Levu's resorts....

Tropical Cyclone Evan on December 13, 2012. NASA

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